Prices for US secondary aluminum smelter scrap rose over the past week amid better inventory levels, scrap availability, and improved demand-supply balance.
The weekly Davis Index for all the aluminum shredder grades delivered US consumers were stronger on Wednesday, with Twitch and Zorba gaining the most ground, by 1¢/lb and 1.9¢/lb to 46.3¢/lb delivered US consumer and 40.4¢/lb delivered, respectively. The index for Tweak increased by 0.5¢/lb to 40.5¢/lb delivered US consumer.
Twitch’s lower availability due to the tightness in the spread between Zorba and Twitch has left more suppliers selling Zorba into smelters than heavy media plants, creating a premium of sorts for the higher quality Twitch grade. This trend has driven the increase in prices for the grade.
The index for Old Cast moved up by 1.1¢/lb to 39.4¢/lb delivered on Wednesday and increased for Old Sheet by 1.4¢/lb to 40.1¢/lb delivered US consumer.
The Davis Index for high-grade turnings increased by 1.8¢/lb to 35¢/lb delivered and was better by 0.3¢/lb for mixed turnings at 30.7¢/lb.
The three-month LME aluminum contract closed at $1,778.50/mt, better by $52/mt from $1,726.50/mt on July 29.
Scrap flows have improved over the past couple of weeks, according to market participants, but they were not sufficient to keep prices from moving up. Automotive demand continues to increase, helping to keep pricing fluid on the alloy sales end and creating room for higher pricing to keep scrap flowing.